Making Washington work for Kentucky
Published 8:27 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017
By MITCH MCCONNELL
After celebrating our nation’s Independence Day, I traveled around the commonwealth to hear directly from Kentuckians. By engaging with families, individuals and community leaders across the state, I am better able to bring their concerns to the United States Senate and serve as their voice in Washington.
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During a visit to Paducah, I was proud to stand with local officials to announce that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has directed more than $19 million to help complete critical repairs to the city’s flood protection system.
Taking full advantage of its geography, Paducah hasbecome a hub for our country’s inland waterway transportation system. Although the rivers promote economic benefits, they also increase the risk of flooding. Therefore, maintenance of the flood protection system is a top priority. When community leaders told me they’d experienced roadblocks accessing resources for repairs, I was happy to help.
In the Senate, I worked with my colleagues to ensure that the project received the necessary authorization and funding to continue. With leaders in Paducah, I was proud to be a part of the effort to ensure this flood system would continue to help protect my constituents and businesses in the area.
I was also glad to visit with members of the Paducah Rotary Club to discuss other important priorities for the region like the U.S. Department of Energy’s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
In Mayfield and in Murray, I had the opportunity to hear from Kentucky’s farmers, manufacturing workforce, and other economic development leaders. These hardworking men and women shared their concerns with me about the future of our commonwealth and the nation.
I also spent time near Bowling Green celebrating the opening of a new interchange on I-65, which will support operations and traffic safety at the Kentucky Transpark. Since its opening in 2003, the Transpark has become a major economic driver in Warren County. Community leaders have known for years that the area needed the right kind of infrastructure to reach its full potential.
At the event, a plant manager told me that the new interchange will help his business move products more efficiently. I was proud to do my part to secure funding for this important project so Warren County has the tools needed to continue growing and supporting good jobs in the future.
In Scottsville, I met with even more industry, community, and agriculture leaders. Speaking with a group in Glasgow, I discussed the process of transferring the ownership of the Green River Locks and Dams away from the U.S. Army Corps to local control. For Kentucky’s conservation stakeholders, this project has been a priority for many years.
Working with my colleagues and several local communities, I shepherded a water resources bill to enactment that will help restore natural river flows and enhance recreation and tourism in the area.
A Glasgow mom also told me about a stem cell treatment that produced remarkable results for her son. I was proud to share with her the new resources for regenerative medicine and innovative therapies provided by the 21st Century Cures Act, which I helped steer into law last year.
In addition to covering these Kentucky priorities, one of the most discussed issues was the failing state of Obamacare. For years, I’ve attended health care forums to listen to Kentuckians facing higher premiums and fewer choices as a result of the failed law.
The pain felt by so many Kentucky families and small business owners is real, and I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to move beyond Obamacare.
As we all know, the status quo is unsustainable, and it will continue to get worse unless we act. That’s why I’m dedicated to continue working to bring relief to Kentuckians who desperately need it.
Helping Kentucky families and individuals is a distinct privilege and responsibility of my service in the Senate. As we begin a new work period in Washington, I will continue to keep your concerns in mind. I hope to see you in my upcoming travels around the Commonwealth. Until then, please let me know your thoughts on the issues facing our nation by emailing through my website (www.mcconnell.senate.gov), writing a letter or calling my office.